After a horribly hectic day of work during which I was wondering what’s wrong with the software world, asking myself if it’s worth to work as developer and speculating if it would be better to opt for an artistic way of life, but at the same time reminding to myself that I don’t like to surrender my own ideas to commercialism or guidelines normally and that it would not work, I decided to not to do anything when I came back home.
So if I wasn’t going to do anything, I should think of something to do for not doing anything. Something counterproductive… playing a game! Undoubtedly it had to be the Last Ninja 2. I had been browsing some pixel graphics sites on Sunday and for some reason I ended in Lemon64, whose top games ranking included LN2 as one could obviously expect, and I thought I would play it as soon as I could.
The version that I used to play was the Amstrad PCW one, that means no colours (everything in green shades) and no sound (at all!). So I missed completely Ben Daglish tunes, until I managed to get an emulator some years ago and play the C64 version.
Today I wasn’t that lucky… for some reason Lemon64 is not willing to load the disk image and so I was left to my own procrastination sense. Began wandering around the Last ninja archive, ended in Wikipedia’s Last Ninja page and finally found a musical tribute to Last Ninja 2 by Puffy 64, in the style of other C64 bands like Press Play On Tape.
This tribute sounds slightly home-made (specially the percussions, they do sound a lot like General MIDI + reverb!) but it’s a group of very interesting versions. I would have loved to hear more synth-rawness in it, not only chippy blurbs but some more square textures. Anyway, I guess that’s what happens if you have been listening to the original ones for a long time: you want something completely different, but myself I’m more a techno-fan than a metal-rock one so I guess I would have pushed a bit into the synthetic direction if I had had any vote on the final output :-)
For example, I quite like the combination of chip and guitar at the beginning of track number 5, The basement (ingame). A bit after it turns to a more dominant guitar sound which is what I commented before. That said, one must recognize that the guitars are very well played (I would love to be dexter enough as to play like that!).
There’s also a couple of extras: Last Ninja hymn, which sounds strange to say the less. I mean, maybe it’s just me being too neutral but listening to a ninja describing his job feels a bit awkward. Then there are two acoustic medleys so it’s a lot of things to listen and appreciate in the tribute. And you can even print your covers if you’re into burning cd’s and printing covers.
As an anecdote, track 2 reminds me of It never Rains in Southern California, I don’t know why. I think it’s the chords progression, I’m almost willing to begin singing the It never rains… :-)
If you have never seen Last ninja I also found a crazy guy which decided to record how to finish the whole game in a longplay.
And to think that I spent the whole summer of 1990 trying to finish the game… YAY! :-)